Toyota 086A: Target Market Change, Power Drop

Fans of the upcoming Toyota/Subaru JDM 086A compact sports car might be a little disappointed with current rumors out of Japan, a decent power drop is on the cards in order to lower emissions and make the car more economical.

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It’s well established now that the JDM 086A will take center stage at Toyota’s stand at the Tokyo Motor Show (TMS) in October, with many fans of the AE86, both young and old(er) relieved that the car wasn’t axed in the wake of the global economic crisis. With new reports though it now seems that the specification of the JDM 086A will change slightly once again to meet other criteria, that being the dreaded “eco car” movement and a switch to a much older target market than what was first considered.

Firstly, the power output. We should now expect the 086A’s FJ20 2000cc boxer four to produce 160PS, a good 40PS less than was previously quoted which is all due to stricter economy and emissions targets. Toyota/Subaru haven’t let this dilute the performance as we’re told the car has also lost some weight in order to keep a respectable power to weight ratio. We’re not told how much weight was trimmed or even how much the revised car now weighs in total, but it’s apparent both Toyota and Subaru are under increasing pressure to produce a car that can be marketed as an “eco car” in Japan.

Marketing is one of the big subjects involving the 086A and its presence at the TMS is primarily to gauge crowd reaction. The car that will be exibited will include styling cues that could very well be changed before the car goes to production giving show goers the opportunity to express their like or dislike of the design. It goes to show how serious Toyota is about the success of the 086A and the lengths taken to ensure that their development team are well aware of what the market is thinking. If you can make it to the TMS or not, make sure you leave your opinion online because Toyota and Subaru are listening!

In a surprising but understandable move Toyota and Subaru have also revised the marketing strategy of the 086A to focus on a core 30 – 50 year old target market. In previous reports we were told that the target market would be of a younger age to appeal to the new wave of FR sports car enthusiasts, however we’re now told that Toyota plans to cash in on older car enthusiasts who bought, or grew up with the original AE86. Nostalgia could play a big part in Toyota’s marketing campaign which, in Japan at least, could work very well indeed given the relatively low asking price of 2,500,000 JPY.

The 086A is still expected to debut towards the end of 2011.

Words: Justin Karow
Image: Best Car


60 thoughts on “Toyota 086A: Target Market Change, Power Drop”

  1. Reasons for a power drop:
    1) Emissions (regardless on how much we want to avoid this as performance enthusiasts, Toyota is a very philanthropic company and will always aim for a “best for community” approach).
    …and…
    2) Support local business (the Japanese aftermarket is HUGE, so if they purposely detune a car via exhaust/intake/ecu, they’re indirectly supporting HKS, Trust, and even their own TRD).
    Who cares if the EJ20 comes nerfed, just means tuners will get very impressive gains from modification.

  2. Some good points there PuGZoR, 1) in particular is something we’ll all have to get used to, but as it’s been mentioned a few times in the comments already, if a power drop is inadvertently causing a weight drop then that can only be a good thing for tuners.

  3. But if they realy need to drop the power they shouldn’t be using a 2.0L, a 1.6L would be better and lighter if they just want 160bhp.

  4. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Guys…..take it easy on your quick acceptance of a power drop for this car !!! I have good contacts who have told me that Toyota engineering interns and engineer alike read 7tune.com so make your WISH LIST heard ! As in:

    – 200 horsepower minimum
    – 1.8 or 2.0 liter engine
    – Lotus-like handling
    – light weight
    – great zoom sound
    – RWD
    – coupe shape (not necessary for convertible right now)
    – under $ 20,000 US dollar starting price (with ability to add options)


  5. Scarlet Pimpernel says:
    August 5, 2009 at 4:24 am
    Guys…..take it easy on your quick acceptance of a power drop for this car !!! I have good contacts who have told me that Toyota engineering interns and engineer alike read 7tune.com so make your WISH LIST heard ! As in:

    – 200 horsepower minimum
    – 1.8 or 2.0 liter engine
    – Lotus-like handling
    – light weight
    – great zoom sound
    – RWD
    – coupe shape (not necessary for convertible right now)
    – under $ 20,000 US dollar starting price (with ability to add options)

    just wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i begin to make a photoshop from lotus elise with a toyota shape

    your though

    is just perfect

  6. Lower displacement isn’t necessarily going to lower weight. Plus, the more displacement, the more that can be gained from the engine with aftermarket parts.

    Low weight is a great thing, but it’s only half the equation to making a car quick.

    Also, I would venture to guess that most of the enthusiast community do not subscribe to the idea that cars are destroying the planet.

  7. Toyota needs a sports car since they have taken away the MR2 and the Celica, Scion is not the way to go, stick to Toyota. The concept is great i hope it turns out to be in the production line in 2011.

    Competion is needed against Nissan. Make a car that people can buy, like people said in the previous comments. Unlike Nissan and their 25,000+ sports cars that most people who are tuner’s cant buy.

    This is a great car with it’s performance thats easy to modify.

    I hope it’s made true.

  8. I Agree with Pugzor,

    Even though the car would be detuned with a 2.0L motor in it, The weight reduction would make the car even better in the long run.
    There will definitely be aftermarket support from such companies as HKS, Greddy/Trust, and TRD as said above, so to keep the 2.0L motor in the 086A gives the car potential to upgrade and essentialy make the 086A more of a “Tuner car” which is what they were aiming for with an extra weight reduction which comes from factory.

    This car, once in production will have big potential in the Aftermarket Industry and also make car enthusiasts of all types want to buy it.

    But if Toyota/Subaru do make it EJ20, Please put a toyota engine into it as a facelift or an alternative model, like a 2ZZ RWD or even a 20V 7AGE? お願いします!

    My thought…

  9. @Keisuke86

    One think is shore the toyobaru will never get a toyota engine because its a subaru legacy platform ment for a flat4. And another is because toyota doesn’t make a sporty I4 any more.

  10. It’s a pretty big drop in power but the news of lower weight is definitely good to hear. It’s kind of funny, to me, that they shifted the target market because by the time this goes on sale, I’ll have entered the demographic. Anything that’s down tuned can be for the most part legally retuned so I’m not too worried about the power drop. I used to have an old 1985 B11 Nissan Sentra hatch that only had something like 80hp but it only weighed about 1800lbs and had a manual trans. So, despite being front wheel drive and gutless, it was a blast to drive around curvy roads. I even accidentally spun it 180 degress going around a tight wet corner one time. (one of those stop and pause moments where you think “whoa, that was dangerous, let’s do it again!”) I think it’s about time an auto maker brought something to the market that shows the US that horsepower isn’t everything. Despite the leaky driver side door, bad AC, and transmission and stereo problems it had, I still miss that little crap box of a Sentra.

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